Heaping praise on his teammates for hanging in there till the end, India captain Ajinkya Rahane has said the creditable draw in the third Test in Sydney was as good as a win.
“For me this is as good as winning a Test match. When you come abroad and play a match like this, it is really special,” Rahane said. “Credit to Vihari, Ashwin - the way they batted -- Pujara, Rohit at the start and also Rishabh. I think everyone chipped in for the team’s cause but credit to those two guys who chipped in and batted almost two and half hours till the end.”
Rahane stressed that he was “extremely proud” of the resilience showed by the batsmen, adding that the magnitude of the result will be realised only later.
“I am extremely proud of the way we played and I think the whole nation would be proud of us with the way we have played after Adelaide. Melbourne and today, these were different games, we made a good comeback with a win,” Rahane said.
“If we have to talk about Sydney, Australia was dominating in the first innings but from 200 for 2, they were all out for 330. Credit goes to our bowling unit for taking the last eight wickets in 130-odd runs. Obviously they batted well in the second innings but I think today would end up being one of the most memorable days in Indian cricket. Perhaps we cannot get the magnitude of today’s achievement right away but possibly after the series we will realise it.
“It was a special day for me as a captain. I believe that we cannot really control the result but it’s imperative to fight till the end. That’s the main thing I’ve learnt in cricket, to keep fighting till the end. This Test match was almost similar. That’s why the result is as good as a win for us. When we play overseas and save such a match, it’s a special feeling and I am proud of everyone, the players and the management.”
With Hanuma Vihari and R. Ashwin showing resilience to deprive Australia bowlers of a wicket in the last session, Rahane admitted that the dressing room was literally counting down deliveries towards the end.
“Especially the last five-six overs, we were counting down but apart from that… I think we all were sure about Ashwin’s ability as a batsman. Vihari was batting really well throughout the series without getting those big scores,” he said.
“Today he showed that he can bat really well. A message during tea was just hang in there, play one ball at a time. Let’s not think too far ahead but yes, last five-six overs, we were counting each and every delivery.”
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